•   
  •   
  •   

Sport Jim Harbaugh and the uncomfortable truth of his Michigan football tenure

18:21  18 october  2020
18:21  18 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

India: Hundreds of thousands of tea pickers in Assam on indefinite strike

 India: Hundreds of thousands of tea pickers in Assam on indefinite strike © Biju BORO / AFP Tea pickers joined farmers in protesting the liberalization of the sale of fruits and vegetables. The strike began this Friday, October 9 to demand wage increases. These workers joined the farmers, who have been protesting for two weeks now against the new selling prices for fruit and vegetables. With our correspondent in Bangalore, Côme Bastin The State of Assam produces nearly 50% of India's tea, and it is found on many tables around the world.

Jim Harbaugh 's Michigan Tenure Should Be Defined by More Than Just Ohio State. College football has become a more national, corporate game in recent years, but rivalries still matter more than in any sport. First: His tenure . Harbaugh is 47–16 at Michigan , and 32–11 in the Big Ten.

While we’re all banging on Coach Jim Harbaugh , his record and his staff, we also must acknowledge that he and the program have experienced some key injuries and bad luck. Michigan Football : Why Does Joe Bolden's Coaching At Ohio State Matter?

Texts were sent and voicemails were left. They pinged the phones of former Michigan football players who starred in recent seasons and others who made their mark during a more glorious time, when the Wolverines won conference championships and were in contention for national titles. The players were asked to assess the state of their alma mater’s football program in Year 6 of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as coach.

Jim Harbaugh et al. standing in front of a crowd: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sideline in the first quarter against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Sept. 1, 2018. © Matt Cashore, USA TODAY Sports Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sideline in the first quarter against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Sept. 1, 2018.

Minutes passed. Then hours. Then days.

NFL implements COVID policy changes; Raiders players fined

  NFL implements COVID policy changes; Raiders players fined In response to the growing number of positive COVID-19 tests around the league, the NFL is taking action. In a call with all 32 teams the league office laid out a slew of new policy changes, and sternly warned teams about the consequences of not following them. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports In the memo recapping the call, which you can read courtesy of this tweet from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, they laid out some new protocols.

Sports Illustrated's Ben Glicksman and Colin Becht survey the quarterback landscape headed into the 2015 college football season.

Earlier this month, Michigan 's Jim Harbaugh offered a proposal that would reform college football , liberate athletes and give players across the country the freedom to enter the NFL draft at any point while in school. Presenting his plan in a letter that his public relations staff disseminated to various

The bulk of the messages went unreturned, leaving the kind of awkward silence that lingers when a touchy subject is raised.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

As Michigan approaches the 2020 season, the tradition-rich program confronts an uncomfortable reality that it has stagnated under the leadership of a man who was expected to restore the Wolverines as a top-tier program.

Since Harbaugh arrived with considerable fanfare in December 2014, Michigan has never competed for the Big Ten title in Indianapolis. It has lost every meeting with rival Ohio State, gone 1-4 in bowl games, won two of its 14 matchups against AP top-10teams and hasn’t finished a season higher than 10th in either poll.

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio agrees to indefinite furlough in new role with Spartans

  Michigan State's Mark Dantonio agrees to indefinite furlough in new role with Spartans Ex-Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio agreed to take an indefinite furlough to help offset MSU's losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.Dantonio, after his Feb. 4 retirement, agreed to a $100,000 annual contract with the athletic department through Feb. 14, 2022. In that role, MSU football’s winningest coach will assist in donor relations and a variety of other projects.

Jim Harbaugh was hired prior to the 2015 season to bring one thing to Ann Arbor, Michigan -- a national championship. Harbaugh has not won the Big Ten East, nor has he topped bitter rival Ohio State thus far during his tenure . The last time out against the Buckeyes, the Wolverines got smoked

When Jim Harbaugh took over at Michigan football , he made a serious effort to recruit in the South. His family cheered for Alabama, and the Crimson Tide began to chase the tall wideout as he became an emerging talent. But by May 2016, roughly 17 months into Harbaugh ’s tenure , Michigan

WINNERS, LOSERS: Week 7's include Clemson, Alabama, Tennessee and Notre Dame

TAKEAWAYS FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No other reason to believe Georga-Alabama would end differently

Under Harbaugh’s direction, the Wolverines have won 72% of their games but have failed to achieve the kind of breakthrough that would place them among the sport’s best programs.

“It hasn’t been the result of scandal or probation or any of that stuff, which makes it even harder to understand,” said Glen Mason, the former Minnesota coach who is an analyst for the Big Ten Network. “But maybe Michigan isn’t the same Michigan we all came to know.”

****

When Harbaugh was hired in the final days of 2014, the excitement was palpable. The Ann Arbor community rejoiced when the former star quarterback returned to lead his college team, welcoming back a favored son like a conquering hero. In the shadow of the disappointing Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke regimes, college football’s most prominent figures expressed optimism about the program’s prospects in the coming years with Harbaugh at the helm. Lloyd Carr, the school’s last great coach, gave his endorsement. One of Michigan’s rivals from a bygone era, Jim Tressel, predicted Harbaugh would even the rivalry with the Buckeyes that turned lopsided near the beginning of the new millennium. But Harbaugh aimed to tamp down the hype.

Winners, losers from Georgia Bulldogs’ blowout victory over Auburn Tigers

  Winners, losers from Georgia Bulldogs’ blowout victory over Auburn Tigers Considering where Stetson Bennett was just a few years ago, this start was incredible. Loser: Bo Nix’s inconsistency spells doom for AuburnGus Malzahn and Auburn’s fan base thought they landed their next star when Nix signed with the Tigers. He was thrown into the fire as a freshman, showing flashes of potential with 23 total touchdowns. There was enough for people to think he would make a gigantic leap in his second season. Quite frankly, we don’t see it coming. The Bo Nix experience for #WarEagle. Pressured, just throws it up and…picked. Might be the final dagger from #GoDawgs. #CFB #SEC pic.twitter.

Is Jim Harbaugh on the hot seat? After his latest performance against a top 25 team & a lack of consistency as Head Coach, Harbaugh ’s time SUBSCRIBE: Michigan Football Report with James Yoder is powered by Chat Sports. Please subscribe to the channel today for the best Michigan

Joel Klatt joins Colin Cowherd to discuss Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh and the College Football Playoff. Hear why Joel thinks Jim has been asked to turn the Mich Every day, Colin will give you his authentic, unfiltered opinion on the day’s biggest sports topics.

“I make no guarantees,” he said.

Jim Harbaugh wearing a suit and tie: Jim Harbaugh answering questions as the new Michigan University head football coach during press conference at the Junge Center in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, December 30, 2014. © Julian H. Gonzalez, Detroit Free Press Jim Harbaugh answering questions as the new Michigan University head football coach during press conference at the Junge Center in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, December 30, 2014.

Then, Michigan won 10 games his first season — surprising some of his most ardent believers who never could have predicted success would come so  soon. The next year, the Wolverines took another leap forward, entering the preliminary rankings of the College Football Playoff and coming within a whisker of defeating Ohio State in overtime before reaching their first New Year’s Six bowl since 2011.

In the words of Harbaugh, Michigan was ascending.

And then, just like that, it wasn’t. In retrospect, the close loss to Ohio State on Nov. 26, 2016 — remembered for a controversial spot of the football — was a turning point. The Wolverines never have been as close to realizing their dreams since that day, retreating from a position of strength to one that is slightly weaker and less impressive. In the last three seasons, Michigan hasn’t placed higher than 14 in the final rankings while stumbling repeatedly in consequential games that have taken the Wolverines out of the running for anything meaningful.

Harbaugh, Pederson meet for bragging rights under Reid

  Harbaugh, Pederson meet for bragging rights under Reid PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When John Harbaugh leads the Baltimore Ravens against Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles, bragging rights under Andy Reid’s coaching tree are at stake. Harbaugh was Reid’s special teams coordinator for nine seasons in Philadelphia before going to the Ravens in 2008. Pederson was a quarterback under Reid and the holder for Harbaugh’s kicking unit in 1999 and later began his coaching career with Reid in 2009. Both Harbaugh and Pederson beat Reid to a Super Bowl title. Harbaugh won it in his fifth season. Pederson hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in his second. Reid finally got his ring with the Kansas City Chiefs last season.

Colin Cowherd defends Jim Harbaugh . PagesMediaTV & filmTV ProgrammeThe HerdVideosDefending Jim Harbaugh 's tenure at Michigan .

A season with Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines. David Turnley. Partway through a long June day during a week of hopping from one satellite camp to the next, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh pulled out his Sharpie and started to scribble.

As time has passed, the missed opportunity in Columbus four years ago looms larger. It all but stanched the momentum Harbaugh had accrued until that point and may have impeded his efforts to turn Michigan into a perennial power again.

“Who’s to know that, if that’s the big answer?” said former Michigan tight end Jake Butt, who was on the field that fateful day. “Who knows what would have happened? But winning those moments — they do matter.”

Timing, after all, is everything — especially in the high-stakes world of college football. Of the last five coaches who have led their teams to national championships, only one — Clemson’s Dabo Swinney — did so later than the fourth full year of his tenure. Nick Saban won it all in his third season at Alabama. Urban Meyer claimed the sport's top prize in Year 2 at Florida and Year 3 at Ohio State.

Swinney, the outlier, gradually built an average program into a juggernaut with a core of excellent assistants that stayed beside him as the Tigers rose to the top. At Michigan, Harbaugh’s staff has experienced remarkable turnover while cycling through 24 on-field coaches. The changes have reverberated both on and off the field, where Michigan has yet to establish a clear identity.  Philosophically, the Wolverines have moved away from a pro-style, ground-and-pound offense to the speed-in-space system it currently employs under coordinator Josh Gattis.

Urban Meyer shares his thoughts on running up score on Michigan

  Urban Meyer shares his thoughts on running up score on Michigan Keep in mind that Meyer was born in Toledo, Ohio. He got his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati and his master’s degree at Ohio State. The hatred toward Michigan dates back to way before he joined Ohio State.Meyer absolutely dominated Michigan during the seven years he coached at Ohio State. The Buckeyes never lost to the Wolverines in those seven years, and their average margin of victory was more than 12 points. In his last game at Ohio State in 2018, Meyer led his team to a 62-39 thrashing over Michigan.

On the recruiting trail, their approach has been all over the map. The Wolverines made a push into the South at the outset of Harbaugh’s tenure, then shifted their focus to New Jersey and now have zeroed in on New England as a source for talent. Among the portfolio of prospects they've gathered in the last cycle and the current one, they have attracted one player from Ohio — a state that once supplied Michigan’s stars of yesteryear, including Heisman Trophy winners Charles Woodson and Desmond Howard.

All the while, the program has weathered a stream of defections. Since the advent of the NCAA transfer portal in October 2018, Michigan has watched 38 members of the team exit the program, including 11 scholarship players in the last 12 months. Consequently, the Wolverines have fallen to No. 18 in 247Sports’ team-talent composite — by far the lowest ranking during Harbaugh’s tenure.

It’s the latest indication that Michigan is continuing its descent from that peak moment in November 2016, when the Wolverines appeared on the cusp of greatness.

“It just hasn’t quite played out the way I — and I’m sure Michigan fans — envisioned,” said ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. “Are they close? Yeah. Is it frustrating? Obviously. Do they want to beat Ohio State? Yes. Do they want to get into the playoff? Absolutely. But I still think he’s building a program. I still think he’s got to get a quarterback play up to par to be able to really go to that next level.”

So far that hasn’t happened — much to the consternation of outsiders who believed Harbaugh would always have a star behind center after they watched him mold Andrew Luck in college and Colin Kaepernick in the pros. Instead, he has trotted out holdovers from the Hoke era and transfers from elsewhere to lead his offenses with mixed results. Jake Rudock exceeded expectations, Wilton Speight was adequate, John O’Korn struggled and Shea Patterson disappointed with a string of erratic performances. The player development at a position Harbaugh once manned and coached has never quite materialized — stunting the growth of a program that used to churn out pro-style passers, not to mention productive running backs and receivers.

Earl Thomas files grievance against Ravens

  Earl Thomas files grievance against Ravens Thomas’ 2020 salary was guaranteed for skill and injury, setting up this grievance. The Ravens signed Thomas to a four-year, $55M deal in March 2019.This marks the first piece of Thomas news in a few weeks, which is certainly notable given his All-Decade acclaim and age (31). The Cowboys were linked to Thomas shortly after his Ravens release. Despite once offering the Seahawks a second-round pick for the All-Pro defender, the Cowboys passed. The Texans were set to work out Thomas earlier this season, but they moved in a different direction — after some reported pushback from players.

“You used to be able to say, ‘Michigan has it all,’ ” Mason said.

While 31 of the Wolverines’ top contributors have been drafted during Harbaugh’s tenure, no offensive skill players have been selected higher than the third round.

It’s an alarming development considering the Buckeyes had a quarterback, two running backs and three wide receivers chosen in Rounds 1 and 2 during that same period.

Speaking of Michigan’s dearth of high-value talent at those key positions, Herbstreit said, “They’ve had a few here and there, but I think that’s an area that I know that they need to continue to grow and continue to try to raise the bar. I know that’s (Harbaugh’s) responsibility, ultimately, but man, I’m just, I guess I’m a fan.”

****

For those who watched Harbaugh resuscitate a downtrodden Stanford program and bring the San Francisco 49ers to the brink of a Super Bowl title, it’s hard to reconcile his lustrous past with the reality of the program he oversees. It’s why fans, experts, former coaches and players are hesitant to give up on Harbaugh, who is in the penultimate year of his contract that pays him the fourth-largest salary in college football.

Sure, critics will claim Harbaugh hasn’t met expectations and the $7.5 million he's scheduled to earn this year isn’t merited based on the results he has delivered.

But Mason is quick to counter with his own argument.

“If he can’t get it done,” Mason said, “who’s going to?”

Or as Herbstreit echoed, “If Jim Harbaugh can’t win at Michigan, who can?

a group of people walking on a sidewalk: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh reacts as time winds down in the 62-39 loss to Ohio State at Ohio Stadium, Nov. 24, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. © Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sports Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh reacts as time winds down in the 62-39 loss to Ohio State at Ohio Stadium, Nov. 24, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

Butt, who now plays for the Denver Broncos, wonders as well. He remains loyal to his former coach and appreciative of the work Harbaugh did to elevate the Wolverines far above the station they resided before his arrival. But at the same time, he’s bewildered by where Michigan stands at this point during Harbaugh’s regime — up against a big, blue wall separating the Wolverines from their biggest goals.

“I am surprised, to be honest, because I believe in Coach Harbaugh and what he’s doing,” he said. “And you just think that, hey, eventually the dam is going to break.”

If and when that happens, there will be a thunderous roar out of Ann Arbor.

People will rally in support of Harbaugh, claiming they always knew he’d get it done.

They’ll celebrate the conquering hero as much as when he arrived.

But for now, there is an uncomfortable silence enveloping the program that is a tacit acknowledgement the Harbaugh era hasn’t been as glorious as many assumed it would be when it first began.

Contact Rainer Sabin at rsabin@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @RainerSabin. Read more on the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Big Ten newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Jim Harbaugh and the uncomfortable truth of his Michigan football tenure

Skip Bayless nearing contract extension with Fox Sports? .
Negotiations are still ongoing, with Bayless’ current contract set to expire at the end of the month. Bayless wants to remain with Fox, and executives want to keep him, but McCarthy says the recent backlash the 68-year-old received for his comments about Dak Prescott “put a major bump in negotiations.” Prescott opened up about his struggles with depression due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, and Bayless said he has no sympathy for the Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

usr: 0
This is interesting!